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Andy Shalom Walker: From back-up to centre stage

Andy Shalom Walker.

He has backed-up the country’s biggest gospel stars including like Zabuli and D-Reign.

His vocal ability is evident in his release, ‘At the Cross’ which became a favorite for several Christians as soon as it hit the airwaves of Uganda’s Christian radio stations.

Andy Shalom Walker, born Andrew Serwadda has grown to become one of Christian music’s must watch artistes – and with his highly anticipated live concert just around the corner, he wants people to know that trusting God has liberated him to be the gospel minister he was called to be.

Andy took off time for a chat with UG Christian News correspondent Aaron Sseruyigo, and now reports.

When did I start singing, and what inspired me?
I started having a taste of music when I was 3 years, and by then I used to watch a lot of  live performances by the bands around then, that is the likes of Afrigo band. I developed interest and my inspiration was that I loved the whole groove, voices and sound that came out of the instruments.

This kept me to TV most of the times and I continually built my love for music. I started singing when I was in my form 1 and this was after being inspired by a friend of mine called Daniel Kaweesa. By then I had not yet given my life to Jesus so we could sing a number of popular love ballads. We had black books with songs which we sung in our free times.

That is how I deeply cultivated my music taste. So to say, little did I know I would soon give my life to Christ. I did this in my form.3. It was an amazing experience altogether.

In my form 6 vacation, I started writing gospel music and my first song was a repentance song called ‘Neneny’a, followed by ‘Come dwell in me’, ‘I will love you oh Lord’ and ‘Thank You.’

I did recording and as far as I can remember, a friend of mine who had a studio helped me through the process though the quality of production wasn’t that appealing to the ear – so I left them at that.

I continued venturing and its in 2009 that I joined a choir affiliated to Blessed Christian Church – Mukono  which happened to be my home church.

In 2015, God gave me a song called ‘At the cross’ which I got during a good Friday service while a Pastor was preaching. I went ahead to look into it till I met a friend who happens to be a gospel artist, Nduwayo Noah. He introduced to me to a studio where I recorded it. That was my first time to enter a professional studio.

What genre do you considere your work to be?
My utmost genre is soul.

What are your main themes/topics ?
I center around the grace of our Lord Jesus, The message of the cross, The eternity series and I must say chances of them changing is quite minimal because this has stood to be my direction.

How many songs/Albums have you released so far?
I have so far released two songs, no album yet. Am currently working on one though.

What have been your greatest moments/worst moments in music ministry?
The day I entered studio to professionally record my first song it was fun and a whole new experience. The day I was invited by Brian wade, a hip hop gospel artist and he asked me to feature on one of his songs called “I love Uganda. I was also delighted to travel to Rwanda-kigali for a worship experience with a team called Heavenly melodies UG.

Doing back up vocals for a couple of artists like Zabuli, D-REIGN to mention but a few, featuring on a couple of Christmas carols presentations especially those at UCU Mukono for the staff, Joining hands with a couple of churches as a back up and lead singer for their Easter productions, worship nights, Sunday celebrations

Teaching songs and vocals to a couple of choirs and travelling to Kenya still for ministry have been some of my best comments.

My worst moments have been come with Financial constraints especially to record my music, and opposition from friends.

Where do you see yourself in a few years from now?
I see myself traversing nations with my music, my gifting/talent teaching and edifying other fellow music ministers not forgetting owning a studio or record label.

Aside music, what else do you do?
I do social media management, blogging, public relations.

Who are some of the artists you have worked with?
I have worked with a couple of artists; Brian wade, D-Reign, Zabuli and Revelation GC

How do you balance music and other obligations?
This is one of the most challenging areas for me. I will be honest but with the grace of God. I am able, well able. My own strength is too minimal.

Who are your major influences and why?
Through this my musical journey as a worship leader and artist, I have never stopped learning and embracing new things. I take this opportunity to hearty appreciate these beloved who have not given up on me in regard to walking a path of perfection but also realizing that God has a sole purpose for my life and this purpose is divine-oriented.

Brian Lubega; a renown worshiper, lead Pastor at Word of life Community Church in Kosovo and a married man to Mrs. Lubega kobusingye Mary Gorret, this man of God is a blessing, he has spoke a lot to me in terms of what Worship is, who is a worshiper and how he or she does conduct him or herself but also on grounds of excellence plus creativity, songwriting to mention but a few. His humility is way way so rich and his heart is always ready to serve and help out.

He is one of my icons I learn from and that am still learning from him. We share a lot in common and this makes me stick around him even more. He is a blessing and still is especially to my music ministry. I bless God for him. He is a dynamic music minister too

Ps. Gerald Rovis; Senior Pastor of Bethel convenient connection church in Kireka. He is also the Programmes Director of one of the leading Christian radio stations in Uganda; Power 104.1 FM, he is a married man to Mrs. Veronica Masinde.

This man of God is also one of those pillars that have stood with me in this my Music ministry, he has spoke in my life countless times. I remember we met when I had just joined Uganda Christian university. From the time I heard him speak up to now, I have never ceased to hear from him. He is a blessed man of God full of wisdom and knowledge, a great teacher of the word, he is a worshiper too.

And he is so passionate about worship and prayer which happen to be some of my areas of ministry too. I have learnt a lot from him and am still learning a lot because as children of God and as gospel music ministers our learning never ends. What we do ain’t just music or singing but its ministry to the hurting souls.

Ps. Samuel Kawumi; Senior Pastor at Blessed Christian Church in Mukono.

He is one of the great pillars in this my music ministry too, he is married to Ps. Anne Kawumi. He is a very humble man, he loves Worship and a teacher of the word of God. He is so down to earth and on many occasions he has spoke into my life and still does.

He has always encouraged me, prayed with me and still does so and in this my music ministry I choose to credit him as one of the outstanding pillars and I surely bless God for him. He saw me when I was just starting off and up to now still holding up the armor with me.

Mr Peter-Alan Muhumuza; he is a prominent music consultant, a committed worshiper and Worship leader, a vocal coach and teacher of music instruments.

He happens to be my personal music director and he has taught me a lot as regards music not only that but also Worship and worship leading. He is so prolific in this area and he has stood on a couple of stages both national and international, he has worked with a couple of choirs, churches one of them being Watoto church central as a music director, he has also worked with universities one of them being Uganda Christian university Mukono among others.

Passionate about Worship and this has kept me on the hook onto him never letting go. I bless God for him.

Zabuli. She is a fellow gospel music minister who actually has held my hand especially when it comes to stepping out as a solo recording artist. She is one lady who introduced me to a studio where I apparently record my music from and I must say she is an angel sent from heaven because this was my desire and dream since I started writing music in 2009. I bless God for her and may God increase her greatly.

Mutebi Emma Rantajasco; this brother was the first person to hear me sing after I wrote my first song in 2009 and he actually took me to his simple studio in buikwe-Kiyindi and I also stood behind a microphone to sing. He saw potential in me and believed in me and am so grateful to God for him. May God increase him.

Lastly tell us about your concert?
My concert is a worship concert and I have themed it ‘There Is More’ derived from Luke.5:1-ff

The time has come for us to dig deeper. Dig deeper than just songs. Worship is enriched with more than just Melodies. Its happening on the 29th April 2018 at Garden City Food Court at 4pm

Entry is 10,000/= (Silver). 20,000/= (bronze) and 50,000/= (Gold)

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